April 2005
By Steven M. Housman

Saroyan Has The Gift

While vacationing in Europe a decade ago, I not only had my eyes opened for the beautiful sights, I also had my ears opened for the beautiful sounds -- especially the sound of music. When I travel, I usually discover some great music that I never would have come across here in the US. This trip was no exception.

While in Monaco, there was one song in particular I kept hearing over and over that was so mesmerizing, I couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently neither could the natives, because it was the #1 song in the country at the time. The name of the song was “Stormy” and the name of the band was Momma Stud. “Stormy” had a 70’s retro R&B groove so infectious that I made sure I bought a copy of the album, which was titled Momma Stud – Cock-a-Doodle-Doo, before I departed Monaco. The lead vocalist’s voice was so unique - I was sure this group had a long and fruitful career ahead of them. The disc also included one of the most gorgeous and powerful versions of “Amazing Grace” I had ever heard. The band was well on its way to fame beyond the boundaries of Monaco - touring Europe and opening for acts such as Ziggy Marley and Al Green. Of course, being the music aficionado that I am, I had to find out more about this group - most importantly the name of the lead singer.

Would you believe I had fallen in love with a singer in Europe only to discover that he was born and raised in Los Angeles? He now resides in the suburb of Silver Lake and his name is Saroyan Ernest Carter. The reason I’m informing you of this gifted vocalist a decade later is because I recently discovered that he has resurfaced - and how lucky we are that he has.

When I finally tracked him down, I found him in a Los Angeles recording studio laying tracks for his first solo CD, titled The Gift. I asked him where he’d been for the past few years and whatever became of Momma Stud. He said “After Momma Stud had great success in Europe and was about to come to the United States to promote the CD, Virgin Records had been bought out by EMI, and all plans for promotion in the US were scrapped.” He chalks the whirlwind experience up to “bad timing.”

I’m not going to try and tell you that this song and album would have hit as big here in the US, but I would have been very surprised if it didn’t make some kind of great impact – it was that good!

The artist goes by his first name, Saroyan, and his new CD The Gift is a mix of R&B and Pop and carries the same infectious groove that the CD Cock-a-Doodle-Doo did. The opening track, “The Sun,” is stunning, as are his vocals, and carries you through a half dozen other tracks that transport your mind, body and soul to a place that is pure heaven. “The Gift” has such a positive vibe, probably because the artist himself has the same open-minded positive and spiritual attitude about life - and it transfers effortlessly through his music. The reason the music has stayed intact is partly because of his co-writer and producer Krandal Crews. Together they wrote, arranged and produced this latest effort, and the results are dazzling.

As it turns out, this Los Angles native has also landed a part singing with a group of four other vocalists and American Idol winner Ruben Studdard in the new FOX television sitcom Life On A Stick. American Idol runner-up Kimberly Caldwell is also in tune for the episode. The sitcom debuted on March 23rd, and the episode featuring Saroyan (credited as Saroyan Ernest Carter) airs on Wednesday, April 6, at 9:30pm, immediately following American Idol. Though Saroyan has a small part, it’s a chance for you to catch a glimpse of this hot man and hear a sample of his superior vocals.

Take my word for it, Saroyan’s new CD is something you shouldn’t miss. At press time, the release date for the CD hadn’t been finalized yet, but is due sometime this summer. When I get an official date, I’ll be sure to give you a heads-up. “The Gift” promises to be just that.

© 2005 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.